Baku Boulevard, also known as the National Seaside Park in Baku, Azerbaijan is the favorite promenade of many city residents and visitors and the second largest in Europe after the park on the banks of the River Seine in Paris. Its establishment goes back to more than 100 years, to a time when Baku’s oil barons built their mansions along the Caspian shore, and the seafront was gradually built up.
In 1909, Muhammad Hasan Hajinski, Head of the Municipality’s Construction Department, informed a session of the Baku Duma that a Baku Boulevard would be established for people to use in their leisure time, and that he would personally supervise the work. The Baku Duma provided money for the construction of the boulevard, and the city’s tycoons also made their contribution. The initial boulevard was shorter than the present one.
At the beginning of the Soviet period, the area of National Seaside Park was mismanaged, and maintenance was neglected. The situation deteriorated further as the sea began to rise so high that many of the trees and shrubs in the park started to die because of the salinity of the water. Baku Boulevard developed further after the construction of leisure attractions in the 1950-1960s.
Clean-up, renovation and reconstruction work accelerated after President Heydar Aliyev signed a decree on December, 29, 1998, granting national park status to the boulevard. On January 10, 2008, the cultural and ecological importance of the city’s seaside promenade was acknowledged in President Ilham Aliyev’s decree and the Seaside Boulevard Office was established under the Cabinet of Ministers.
Today, the National Seaside Park in Baku covers an area of 3,750 meters, and is located on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. It starts at the National Flag Square and ends at Freedom Square.
After the expansion of the Baku Boulevard territory to 16 km, city inhabitants and visitors can enjoy themselves throughout its whole area – from Boulevard Hotel in White City, the National Flag Square and all the way around to the Water Sports Palace located at the end of Baku Boulevard.
The Boulevard area includes a number of museums, cultural facilities, malls and entertainment centres, including the modern panoramic amusement ride – the Devil’s Wheel, which has a beautiful view over Baku Bay.